Saturday, November 15, 2003

Saint Joan contains clumsier exposition than you would think possible in a play of such good reputation. Knight to Bishop: "It is the protest of the individual soul against the interference of priest or peer between the private man and his God. I should call it Protestantism if I had to find a name for it." This is meant to be before 'Protestantism' is a common term. It comes in here solely because the audience is lost.
On the other hand, the jokes are good. And the end moves from the ridiculous to the sublime with speed and grace. It caught me, anyway.
[Notes for pedants: Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw, 1923; now published by Penguin. Quote taken from 1934 Odham's Press collected Shaw. The knight, Warwick, is actually an earl. But the bishop, Cauchon, actually is a bishop. There.]